Excite Shadow Days at K-State Enlighten High School Girls Interested in STEM Programs

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High school student Maddy Snyder (left) shadowed Brooke Wiebe, junior in mechanical engineering, as part of the Exploring Science, Technology, and Engineering, Shadow Days hosted by the K-State Office for the Advancement of Women in Science and Engineering. (Stephanie Nutt | Collegian Media Group)

High school girls interested in going to college for a degree in science, technology, engineering or math are invited to attend EXCITE, or Exploring Science, Technology, and Engineering, Shadow Days hosted by the K-State Office for the Advancement of Women in Science and Engineering.

The event allows female high school students interested in STEM degrees to shadow a female K-State student studying in a STEM field — attending classes, touring campus, talking to professors, share lunch and discuss what it’s like to be in a STEM major as a woman.

“Women are an underrepresented group in STEM,” Morgan Greene, KAWSE program coordinator, said. “The mission of KAWSE is to enrich the lives of girls and women in STEM disciplines. We do that by creating a supportive network. Because women are underrepresented, we’re trying to encourage the greater participation and advancement and retainment of women.”

Brooke Wiebe, KAWSE ambassador and junior in mechanical engineering, said she had doubts about her major going into college, wondering if it was the right choice.

Now that she is a junior and has gotten through the hardships of her underclassman classes, she said she wishes she could go back and tell herself, “Yes, it’s awesome. Do this. Full send!”

She took the opportunity to be an ambassador for the event.

“I think it’s awesome for me to just be a role model, and it’s like actual college life,” Wiebe said. “It’s not like a program tour, it’s how my classes go. She’ll come to my classes and see me struggle in my classes. I think that’s important to watch and see how it really is.”

Maddy Snyder, high school student shadow, shadowed Wiebe on Wednesday. She said she is interested in going into engineering.

“This helped me see more what the classes I need to take for engineering will be like and maybe how hard they’ll be,” Snyder said.

KAWSE hosts three to four shadow days each semester. The last EXCITE Shadow Day for the fall 2019 semester is Nov. 6, with registration closing Oct. 23. More information can be found on their website.

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